Super Contra Review

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Publisher: Konami
Developer: Digital Eclipse


Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

The Red Falcon alien threat is once again plaguing Earth. Only Lance and Bill can save the planet, and only by leaping through the air and shooting everything that moves. Super Contra brings the classic coin-op game to Xbox Live Arcade.

Rating:
Kyle Ackerman


The original Contra is firmly embedded in the annals of gaming as one of the most difficult coin-op games ever to demand quarter after quarter in the early days of coin-op gaming. When the game made it to a home console, its punishing difficulty made it the ultimate bragging point. Any gamer who could complete Contra had earned his chops through sweat, tears and blood (from thumb blisters). Those who couldn't, but wanted to play anyway, learned the Konami Code that gave us the lives we needed to win.

But Contra just wasn't difficult enough for a select few. Thus, Super Contra was born. It was hard... disturbingly hard. Super Contra on the Xbox 360 is a perfect port of the original game, meaning that it's just as damnably difficult as the original. Even in HD, the wide screen just places a frame around the original screen making Super Contra play exactly how you remember. It's still a side scrolling shooter that occasionally segues into top-down shooting sequences.

Super Contra is so hard, that most gamers will need a second player, patience and all their lives just to make it past the first helicopter. But that difficulty is actually why the game ages so well. It's also why the game can be so alienating. There are few titles available today that are so freakishly hard. For gamers, playing Super Contra is like a swimmer trying to cross the English Channel. Few try, and fewer succeed, but the personal victory for completion is enormous. Of course, most people are sane enough never to grease up their body, don a swimming cap and jump in the water.

It's simple. Either you're up for the challenge (in which case the difficulty will inspire levels of concentration that surpass dated graphics and quarter-hungry play) or you fingers and wrists will hurt just contemplating a game of Super Contra. In that case, take a deep breath and go check out Catan.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on August 18, 2007 9:48 PM.

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